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Online residents' association folds

Bluebridge Road
Speeding on Bluebridge Road was to have been the first issue to be tackled by the NMORA
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
A virtual residents’ association, set up to tackle issues raised in this site’s forum, has folded.

But one former member says the idea should not be abandoned completely and says a body is needed to take forward issues raised in the forum and to try to bring positive change.

The NMORA was formed in the spring of 2002 by a number of local residents, all regular contributors to the Brookmans Park forum.

They decided to create a body to try to focus on some of the issues being debated in the forum and to see whether they could be instrumental in making a difference.

A note was posted in the forum, asking whether people thought a virtual residents' association was a good idea. Within two weeks more than a dozen people had expressed an interest in becoming involved.

A news item was also posted on the Brookmans Park Newsletter, explaining why the previous residents' association, (NMRA - North Mymms Residents' Association), had folded due to lack of interest.

A private area of the forum was then created where the NMORA members could discuss local issues and a constitution was drawn up and a chairperson appointed.

The NMORA’s aim was not to promise to change things, but simply to try to act as a conduit to gather information to present to the relevant authorities on issues where there was significant local concern.

The plan was for the NMORA to use the Brookmans Park Forum as a measure of the local online community's concerns and then to channel those concerns to those who have the power to do something about them.

Various reasons have been given, in this site’s forum, for the failure of the NMORA to take off.

A number of former member have said the lack of available time was partly to blame.

Another has suggested it was down to a failure to reach agreement on what to do about speeding through the village, the first issue the NMORA decided to tackle.

One former member said that it was impossible to act impartially and that the forum didn’t offer an effective vehicle for free speech or reaching decisions.

The forum guidelines for what can and cannot be written are set out in the forum agreement which all have to accept and sign up to in order to register. They are also explained more fully in the site's editorial guidelines.

Another former member described the failure of the NMORA to take off as a "great missed opportunity", while another said that he hoped the demise of the NMORA would not mean any less community involvement by those who want to see Brookmans Park keep its community spirit.

In all there were 14 members of the NMORA. This fell to eight by the autumn of last year and so far, seven of those eight remaining NMORA members have contacted the site to say that they feel the group should fold.

However one member has asked for the title to remain intact in the hope that others will develop the concept and relaunch the group.

She wrote that the NMORA was a great step forward. "What we now need is a means or system to get something positive from this. A body is needed to take forward issues raised in the forum and see if some positive change can be achieved," she wrote.

If anyone is interested in taking this on please e-mail

You can read the contributions from former NMORA members in the thread that has developed in the forum.

January 2, 2003

Related News
Local online residents' association update - April 16, 2002
Online residents' association takes shape - April 16, 2002
Virtual residents' association next steps - April 13, 2002
Virtual Residents' Association? - April 12, 2002
Residents’ association holds final meeting - July 7, 2000

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